TV: The More Things Change…

TV: The More Things Change…

In today’s world, the idea of traditional television viewing seems to be a thing of the past. With the major networks still in play, plus hundreds of cable networks and dozens of user-generated internet subscription content all adding in their own unique programming, must-see TV isn’t a label that is used anymore. It is now a struggle to find a program that is universally discussed at the water cooler.

In the eyes of many advertisers, this saturation of the marketplace seems to be a deterrent in their willingness to include television as part of their media plans. And with the phenomenon of “cord-cutting” hitting the news, many clients/advertisers feel that no one is watching the spots that they are putting out on the air.

So how are media buyers combating clients that are terrified of cord-cutters and internet provided content? Most buyers seemingly continue to seek out the traditional “appointment television”. Realistically, finding those key programs that still are demanding viewers watching in real time is the key to successfully gaining eyes-on impressions. The question remains, during which programs are consumers not fast-forwarding through commercial breaks on their DVR or selecting clips on their smart TV?

The simple answer is news and sports. These types of content have always been major players in the “appointment television” field and are rumored to keep the cord-cutting phenomenon at bay. While most major networks are still available “over the air” with the right antenna – but sports are a different thing altogether. For example, pay-TV companies must pay ESPN the highest fees per subscriber: more than quadruple the next priciest network, according to estimates from SNL Kagan. It’s because of these numbers that sports have often been left out of 100% online streaming options. And according to a survey by Clearleap – fans of the “big three” professional sports in the U.S. (baseball, basketball and football) prefer to watch their games on traditional television broadcasts.

While points can be argued both ways, and statistics can prove the migration to more households making a switch in their provider type, it should be known that television is still being consumed. According to MediaLife, television consumption was at 32.4 hours per week last year, representing 50.2% of all U.S. media consumption. Projections in to 2017 read that it would decrease slightly but only just below 50%.

So don’t let your clients lose hope in TV just yet. According to PQ Media’s Global Consumer Media Usage & Exposure Forecast 2015-19, traditional television viewing will continue to dominate user consumption through 2019. By focusing on the efficiency numbers that ratings services generate, adding television to a client’s media mix will remain to be a smart move and one that buyers should feel comfortable standing behind for the foreseeable future.

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